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2017 NHL Draft Profile: Ryan Poehling could grow into a dominant two-way player

Tall and lanky, Poehling is mature beyond his years, evidenced by his early high school graduation and contributions as a freshman at St. Cloud State.

In our 2017 NHL Draft Preview, we look closely at some of the prospects that could be available when the Hurricanes draft at 12th overall on June 23 in Chicago.

Ryan Poehling

  • DOB: January 3rd, 1999 - Lakeville, Minnesota
  • Team: St. Cloud State University
  • Center | Shoots: L | 6’3”, 185 lbs
  • 2016-17 Stats: 35 GP - 7G, 6A, 13 Points, 12 PIM

Prospect Breakdown

Poehling (PAY-ling) is a tall two-way forward that can fit just about anywhere in a lineup. He uses his size to create separation offensively and his long reach to thwart away attackers in the defensive zone. He uses his large frame to win puck battles in the corners. Poehling can provide screens in front of the net and is a real problem for opposing goalies. Scouts can’t speak enough on his talented skating ability and how he can create separation with his tall frame.

Poehling was the youngest player to compete in the NCAA last season and is heralded for his hard work ethic. He is one of three Poehling brothers on the Huskies’ roster; his older twin brothers, Jack and Nick, are both wingers. Oddly, all three are classified as freshmen, despite Ryan being more than two years younger than the others: Ryan graduated from high school a year early and enrolled at St. Cloud State as a 17-year-old, while his brothers played two years in the USHL before heading to St. Cloud. The three brothers, playing on the same line, were key pieces of Lakeville North High School’s 2015 Minnesota state championship team.

Scouting Analysis

Poehling will need to add more weight to his lanky frame but early signs show that he may be a top-six center in his career. Poehling’s style is reminiscent of a certain Hurricanes center: Jordan Staal. Scouts say he will need to work on the defensive aspects of his game as well as becoming more confident with the puck. It is often said Poehling does not shoot enough and has a pass-first mentality.

If he adds some muscle over his next couple of years in college hockey, he could be a prototypical-sized center by the time he is ready to jump to the professional ranks. Another year or two in the NCAA may work wonders for the young center and allow him to perfect and fine-tune his game.

Final Thoughts

There are many promising aspects to the young forward’s game that haven’t even come to fruition yet. However, Poehling is a bit of a stretch for the Canes to select him at number 12 overall. Most mocks have him listed in the early twenties. Poehling is more of a long term project than a prospect that can jump into the lineup within the first season or two. He seems too much of a gamble to take that early in the draft even if the Hurricanes hold onto their first round pick, unless their trade is to move down in the draft order.